Friday, August 8, 2008

Electronic reminders

Hmmm. Been a month since the last post. Only exciting thing around here was finding the mysterious single stalk of wheat growing amongst my potatoes! Courtesy of a "bird bomb?" Dunno.

A while back I mentioned that I was working on a small system to monitor the coop temperature. Well, I'm still working on that mainly because the solar cells I was going to use to charge the batteries aren't as good as I thought.

But now I have even more reason to get it done. Last night I was sitting here at about the same time when I looked outside wondering why I could hear dogs barking in the distance and realized "crap, I didn't put the birds to bed." Around here dogs barking at night can mean they hear coyotes so I grabbed a flashlight and went running down the hill. Luckily everyone was OK and the ducks were even in the coop (I usually have to herd them in) so all I had to do was close and latch the door. They were a bit annoyed by the light but otherwise OK.

Since the remote computer I built has inputs for reading switches, I'm going to put a "door closed" switch on the coop and have a short program running on the PC so if it's after dark and the door isn't closed, it sounds an alarm in the house. Hopefully I'll never need it, but if nothing else, it'll be a fun little project. Ah, the magic of wireless technology.